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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Expensive Crap, Counter Ladies, and Britney Spears

Last Christmas, my sister and I were comparing perfume choices. Very weird thing for us to do, but I can't help it, it's what happened. I've been wearing Angel for something like three years, and I love it, but it's monstrously expensive, especially if you've quit your job to be a full-time Mom (I figured it out when I discovered how much I like my sister's choice of fragrances: Angel weighs in at around $86/ounce. For comparison, consider that 24k gold generally sits around $400/ounce. Yes, I looked it up.) My sister wears Addict, by Christian Dior. It smells wonderful, too. I figured - Dior, I know that name! I don't know anything about anything in fashion (nor do I care to know), but I know that name, so I bet it's as expensive as my perfume, which is by a designer I'd never heard of before I found Angel (but surely would have if, you know, I knew anything about fashion. Whatever.) I checked. Addict averages around $16/ounce. When my refillable bottle wears out (and I'm sure that it will), I may have to switch. I get that some components of scents are more expensive than others, but geez...

We were talking perfume at Christmas because we have both chosen to stay at home with our kids (her son Max is a year younger than Eryn), and had both told our parents when asked for Christmas gift ideas that we wanted our perfume, because perfumes just seem a very unnecessary luxury on a lowered income. L received her bottle of Addict, and I got a gift card for Marshall Field's, where I can refill my bottle of Angel. (See, that's how they got me. I loved the perfume when I tried it on but expressed absolute shock at the price, and they told me I could actually purchase a refillable bottle, which could be refilled for considerably less than the purchase price of a new bottle. Hence the request for a gift card. My bottle, by the way, holds less than an ounce.)

Anyway. I used my gift card last night and then stopped at the Dior counter on my way out to spray on a quick shot of Addict to see how much I liked it on me (smells nice on my sister, but how does that help me?), and to wear home to see if Scooter liked it on me. It's been so long since I was perfume shopping that I'd forgotten you can't touch a sample bottle in Field's (or presumably anywhere else) without a Counter Lady descending on you. Quickly.

My plan to spray and get out fell apart when some Twenty-Something exuding a cloud of hairspray and perfume so dense I had to avert my eyes asked me if I liked Addict. I said that's why I was trying it--to find out if I liked it on me. She launched into what sounded like a prepared speech about how everybody who tries it likes it, that it smells different on every person (uh, thanks...that's what perfumes do - all of them - they are slightly different on each person because they interact with each body's personal chemistry), and that "people who wear it are always getting asked what they're wearing." (Prepared, yes, but also funny because of how L found it: she asked two women, many months apart, what they were wearing, and it was Addict each time.) She applied sales pressure and I dodged with something that always works because it's polite code for I'm not buying this now: "I wanted to try it and see if my husband likes it." So she picked up a blood red bottle, threatened to spray it at me, and exclaimed that "This one is like that, too! And it's Britney Spears' favorite!!" I coughed and asked if that was supposed to be a selling point. She left me alone then, and I resumed my plan.

I am such a bitch. But at least I'm not a Britney fan.


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